Hey guys, I want to install Ubuntu alongside my Windows 7 OS. I'm trying to add an extended partition for the ext4 partition and the linux-swap partition, but I already have four primary partitions which all look like they're something important.

The four partitions are this:

  • Partition 1:
    • Partition: /dev/sda1
    • File System: ntfs
    • Label: None
    • Size: 199.00MiB
    • Used: 66.59 MiB
    • Unused: 132.41MiB
    • Flags: Boot
  • Partition 2:
    • Partition: /dev/sda2
    • File System: ntfs
    • Label: None
    • Size: 219.29GiB
    • Used: 28.11GiB
    • Unused: 191.17GiB
    • Flags: None
  • Partition 3:
    • Partition: /dev/sda3
    • File System: ntfs
    • Label: RECOVERY
    • Size: 13.30GiB
    • Used: 11.09GiB
    • Unused: 2.22GiB
    • Flags: None
  • Partition 4:
    • Partition: /dev/sda4
    • File System: fat32
    • Label: HP_TOOLS
    • Size: 103.18MiB
    • Used: 7.47MiB
    • Unused: 95.71MiB
    • Flags: lba

I know that Windows 7 is the /dev/sda2 and I'd assume that /dev/sda3 is some sort of backup. I don't know what /dev/sda4 but I've watched a video that said that generally a fat32 partition is the boot or something. As for /dev/sda1 I have no idea.

Which one should I delete to make space for an extended partition?

  • Look at my question, you might get a clue :) askubuntu.com/questions/136035/… May 13, 2012 at 11:04
  • I'm glad that I now know that it's fine to use logical partitions, but which one of the four above should I delete to make room for one?
    – Laika
    May 13, 2012 at 11:11
  • oooo a quad-boot question. cool.
    – Alvar
    May 13, 2012 at 11:40
  • Quad boot? I had no idea that was even possible. =P
    – Laika
    May 13, 2012 at 11:43
  • Its not quad boot. One is the recovery, one is sysreserved for windows (windows bootloader), the other is windows, and hp_tools is manufactuer tools thatcome shipped. Problem is space, you dont have enough (remove 'recovery' and 'hp_tools' and what you have is a system you can't restore Windows on from manufacturer tools/recovery images)
    – Thomas Ward
    Jun 4, 2012 at 14:11

2 Answers 2

  • /dev/sda3 is your Windows recovery partition.
  • /dev/sda4 is a recovery partition for the HP tools.

You can delete both if you not need them or if you made a backup of these to a cd/dvd. Or leave it as is. Or after you created a backup. Technically all you need is the Windows serial on your machine to be allowed re-installing (ie. downloading Windows). And it would be weird if you can not find the HP Tools on the web either.

  • /dev/sda1 looks like a separate boot disc. Could be they made that so you can access your 2 recovery partitions. Never seen that before... If you delete this you might not be able to get into Windows. As far as I know Windows needs to be on the 1st partition(?). If so messing with that will mess up Windows.

My advice? Create discs from the Windows recovery and HP recovery if you want them (creating a cd/dvd from them should be a menu item in your current Windows system). Backup your Windows files and delete it ALL. Recreate a 2 partition setup: 1 for Windows and 1 for Ubuntu (and in there /, swap and /home if you want to).

I believe creating 4 primary partitions is stupid. And I myself hate it when others decide my disc lay-out. ;)

  • Thank you for your answer. =D I'll follow your instructions closely. Where in my Windows 7 system can I find an option to put those two on a disk?
    – Laika
    May 13, 2012 at 12:11

Recovery from the recovery partition appears to be somewhat fragile when you mess with your partitions, so I would also advise to make a Windows backup rather than rely on the restore partition.

Windows nowadays uses a small 'system partition' in addition to the regular windows partition. So that is your sda1.

It also depends on how much you want to keep your current Windows installation: you can legally download an official Windows ISO, use it for a fresh install and activate it with your original license key. A list of iso images can be found at http://www.heidoc.net/joomla/technology-science/microsoft/14-windows-7-direct-download-links

Warning: I have been in your situation and wiped the HDD clean. Then I found out that BIOS setup had disappeared from the boot menu, presumably because part of the BIOS code resided in the HP tools partition. Fortunately, it came back after a BIOS update. Otherwise, I haven't missed the HP tools partition. You could first update your BIOS and back up the HP tools partition, then test whether it contains anything of importance by removing its content and see what is missing.

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